• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story
  • CROWBAR—Athletes compete in annual Crowbar backcountry race in Logan Canyon. CHRISTIAN HATAHWAY
  • HINDU FESTIVAL—Hundreds of Hindus and friends gather for annual Holi Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork. DANA IVINS
  • RAINBOW CELEBRATION—Holi celebrants joyfully paint themselves at Hindu festival. DANA IVINS
  • HUT! HUT! HUT!—ROTC teams compete in Ranger Challenge at Camp Williams. ALISON OSTLER. Story
  • SNOWBARD JAM—Boarders show their stuff on the Quad during Entrepreneur Week. CASSIDEE J. CLINE. Story
  • SNOWBOARD TRICKS as hotdoggers show off on the Quad during Entrepreneur Week. CASSIDEE J. CLINE. Story
  • WINTER A and the American flag over a snowy USU campus. WHITNEY PETERSON
  • QUADVIEW—A springtime view of the USU Quad and Old Main from atop the business building.
  • PRESS CONFERENCE—USU President Stan Albrecht briefing journalism students. CHRIS ROMRIELL. Story
  • HIGH-HEELIN’ IT—Men in high heels and their female supporters walk a mile to protest sex abuse. TY ROGERS
  • ELK PICNIC—Elk and humans mingle at the winter refuge at Blacksmith Fork's Hardware Ranch. CARESA ALEXANDER. Story

Ecology Center hosts Antarctic entomologist at Utah State

October 24th, 2015 Posted in Science

Entomologist David Denlinger of Ohio State University presented research on the only permanent animal species in Antarctica, Belgica antarctica, at Utah State University on Wednesday as part of a two-part lecture.

“We have a lot to learn from this little guy,” said Denlinger, referring to the black Belgica larvae on the screen; almost as small as the grooves of the finger holding it.

For most of the year this larvae stays frozen, in a state called insect diapause — a type of insect hibernation. Once thawed, it enters adulthood, mates, lays eggs and dies within a week.

According to Denlinger, understanding how an organism can survive losing up to 70 percent of its internal moisture without dying is critical for the medical industry because of the insights it can offer in the moving, storing and preserving of human organs for transplant.

Denlinger noted that losing moisture is necessary because the sharp, microscopic ice crystals that form would rupture the insect’s cell walls, killing it.

“Denlinger came to the university with the unique ability to discuss all the native species of Antarctica,” said Samantha Willden, a graduate student at Utah State and the coordinator of the event. “These insects are highly specialized for some of the harshest of environments.”

The second lecture, “Insect diapause: shutting down for the winter,” took place Thursday at 4 p.m., at Widtsoe Hall on Utah State campus.

Brooke Bell, Kyle Downey, Diego Mendiola, Dylan Harlow, Bo Lamb and Lee Johnson contributed to this report.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.